ZenAfri Is Using Apps To Educate Children On African Folktales And Languages.
With oral traditions going extinct, this mobile app developer is creating apps for your children to learn African folktales in fun and entertaining ways.
ZenAfri is using apps to educate children on African folktales and indigenous languages. Also, this will help pass on oral traditions that are quickly going extinct.
Many African children do not fluently speak their mother tongue, because they are socialized to believe that English is a superior language. Therefore, it is the language that is worth the effort of learning.
Everywhere you turn in the African space there's so much that is not African. Television, technology, fashion, sports, movies, books, language, aesthetic sensibilities—all of them jostle for space. This may not be a problem if western phenomenon did not take precedence in moulding the African mind. Therefore, for most people, if it is not western it is not authentic.
How Does ZenAfri's App Educate Children?
To influence the next generation, we have to shape the minds of the little ones. According to UNESCO, fluency and literacy in the native language lay a cognitive and linguistic foundation for learning additional languages. A UNESCO 2011 PIRLS assessment shows that in seven African countries at least 10% of students reported speaking a different language at home from the one they were tested in. Also, their likelihood of achieving minimum learning standards in reading was lower than for students whose home language was the language of assessment.
ZenAfri has developed a series of educational apps designed to teach children to speak local languages and pass on well-known oral traditions.
Currently, there's the app Teseem, an award-winning application that teaches toddlers their first words in traditional African languages like Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Swahili. This makes it easier for them to learn since it is in their mother tongue before they begin to study in English or French.
Also, there's Afrotalez, an app that narrates traditional African folktales and the lessons they imbibe. Also, it teaches basic classroom lessons such as object recognition, numbering, lettering and more
“With the increasing globalisation of the world, we find that our kids have more access to Western things, rather than African or indigenous things,” ZenAfri's chief executive Elizabeth Kperrun told the BBC. “We're trying to make them see that our culture is also relevant.”
Parents should encourage their kids to speak their mother tongue at home. Especially, for those kids who are taught in English in school. The mother is the springboard from which a child can branch out and learn other languages easily.
Also, parents should learn to embrace the perks technology has to offer, instead of dismissing it with suspicion. Education app like the ones ZenAfri offers helps in educating kids in a fun and entertaining way.
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